The housing market hasn't peaked yet

Since the crash of the housing market during the Great Recession, many people hesitate to buy a home out of fear that prices have hit a high point yet again. They think buying right now means the value of their home purchase will only decrease. That's not the case at all.

Samantha DeBianchi, real-estate agent, former star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing Miami”
Source: Chris Hedlund
Samantha DeBianchi, real-estate agent, former star of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing Miami”

Here are five reasons why now is a great time to buy a home and what the best month is to buy a house:

1) The market hasn't peaked. Home prices around the nation continue to rise at about 5 percent each year and the current projection shows the median U.S. home value won't exceed pre-recession prices until May 2017. Prices are still 19 percent below what they were before the real-estate market peaked. That means we still have roughly a year and a half before the market is expected to potentially top out.

2) A very hot market across the country. Overall, the real-estate market is thriving. Home values rose in 236 of the 276 cities tracked by Clear Capital, which should comfort even more buyers ready to make a move. Places like Miami, Seattle, Dallas, Denver, Pittsburgh, and others saw almost double the increase in home values this year compared to the national average. However, with so many people taking advantage, inventories are slowly shrinking.

3) Rates are going to start rising soon. The Federal Reserve has held its target for the federal-funds rate near zero since December 2008, but this is about to change and when that goes up, mortgage and other interest rates are certain to start rising, too. Why pay more for the same piece of property when you can close the deal now at a lower rate? Also, closings in January provide the best discounts for home buyers so it makes sense to do it now if you can.

4) Not a good time for rentals. For some people, it just makes good financial sense to rent. For others, it's a waste of money because they're paying into something that's never going to bring a return. The rental market isn't very attractive right now because rent prices are sky-high. Rent affordability isn't expected to improve for at least two more years.

5) Mortgage insurance is more affordable now. One of the biggest things holding back many people from buying a home has been that, even if their finances are pretty good, if they don't have a 20 percent down-payment, they have to purchase mortgage insurance. This is just extra protection for the lender in case you default on your loan. The good news: Annual mortgage insurance premiums are at 0.85 percent. Mortgage insurance is more affordable right now. While it still adds another expense, it should be less of an obstacle than it once was.

Owning your own home is actually one of the best investments you can make right now.

Commentary by Samantha DeBianchi, the founder and CEO of DeBianchi Real Estate. She also starred on Bravo's "Million-Dollar Listing Miami." Follow her @SamDeBianchi.